Membership Discount Options

We know that money is tight for many of us. While a reliable income would mean we were one step closer to having our own space rather than meeting in restaurants and coffee shops and parks, we want to find ways to include everyone.

a person holding a cardboard with inscription "volunteers needed"
Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

We already allow you to earn back your membership fees if you participate in our scrip fundraiser, and that doesn’t require you to spend money you wouldn’t be spending anyway – gift cards for all sorts of stores, both online and brick-and-mortar, are available (and the bonuses this month are huge – with a little organizing, many people could pay for their whole membership between now and the end of the year). And don’t forget that comes with a chance to win gift cards too through the end of the year.

We’d also like to offer up an in-kind donation option. We’re only asking for 3 hours a month in exchange for a general membership. Work your three hours this month, and next month’s membership is on us. We have lots going on, and lots of ways you can help – posting our events, planning events, teaching, making videos, manning our table at events….and the list goes on.

Please reach out if this would make membership more manageable for you.

Calendar Changes

For a variety of reasons, we’re largely moving away from Eventbrite and Google Calendar.

photo of planner and writing materials
Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

You can now copy any event to your own calendar by clicking through to the event page and clicking on the Add To Calendar button.

You can also add any event to the calendar by picking “submit an event” in the menu, under events. You do not have to have a website account to do this, but it works better if you do.

All ticket sales will be processed through Paypal until I have time to mess with it more; zoom links and working google maps coming soon as well.

Community Safety Updates

It’s always been my intention to make sure that we’re doing what we can to make sure that all attendees at our events are safe. I’ve said in the past that I think that means that many volunteers need background checks, volunteers who work with our youth need training and guidelines on appropriate conduct, and so on.

This week I’ve finalized a contract to run background checks. So, potential volunteers, if you’re going to be responsible for major projects or working with children, expect that request to be coming. We will cover the costs of those checks.

I’ve also gotten a working account to check kids in and out of activities. Things where parents are expected to be present the whole time won’t require this, but it will grow with us. Key features are that it will allow us to have nametags printed for adults and kids so we can match you up and get everyone back where they belong, and it will allow us to text a child’s adult(s) if we need them back right away.

Background has kids running across a field of dandelions, with a numeric keypad for entering your info

I will have to start looking for a printer for this – it’s possible I already have one that works, but if not I’ll have to get that and a couple rolls of labels before we are ready to roll.

Finally, I also have name badge holders on order, ready for folks to make nametags at upcoming events. If you don’t already have a Spiral Moon lanyard, I’ll have them ready too.

As you may or may not know, we have a safeguarding policy which specifically details things that are required for all working with vulnerable populations, and we do not tolerate harassment – our anti-harassment policy is available on the same page.

A Few Reminders

close up of computer keyboard on table
Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Donations can be sent to  paypal.me/SpiralMoonCircle or submitted on our Donations page.

The contest for gift card accounts and purchases continues through the end of December. Win free gift cards!

If you don’t want to set up an account to purchase gift cards, you can order them directly from us. We place a group order for physical cards twice a month – the selection is not as good, but you can get in on a cheaper shipping rate. Download the form, fill it out, and email to spiralmooncircle@gmail.com, then follow the directions on the form for payment.

Little Witches Ball tickets are available free – donations requested, ticket is required for each person.

Interested in participating in upcoming public events? Sign up now!

Upcoming Events!

We had a great time at Pagan Pride this year, and we’ll be hosting it next year.

Pagan Pride altar - a swirly beige table cloth over a blue metal picnic table. On the table are 2 candelabras each with three white candles, a white novena candle, small gourds and squashes, and a circle of dried beans
2022 Pagan Pride altar

We have 2 more events this year – the Little Witches Ball and a Yule event, and SIX events next year (2 kid/family specific events, one large public event, 1 family friendly event, Pagan Pride, and one yet to be determined.

If you want updates on these, or you’d like to volunteer, vend, perform, or sponsor events, please go to https://spiralmoon.org/events-2/festivals-and-public-events/ and sign up!

Fundraiser Kickoff

On Monday, we’ll be having a kickoff for our new fundraising program. Please go respond “going” on the FB event so you’ll be notified when we go live (around 2 pm).

Text at top in green: Spiral Moon Fundraiser Kickoff
Image: a glass jar full of money with a label on it that says "Please support our fundraiser"

We have a great fundraising opportunity that will not cost you any money you’re not already spending (yay!) and can add up quickly for us, and we’ll give you all the details on Monday!

Toys for Yule

Over the years, a variety of organizations have organized a Yule gifting program specifically for the children in our community, particularly those whose families might be struggling to make ends meet. This year, we’d like to take on that role.

glass bauble reflecting christmas tree
Photo by Bob SpringBob54 on Pexels.com

With that in mind, we’ll be opening up applications. We’ll keep applications open through December 10. In late November, we’ll post a page with links to wishlists that we’ll set up for families so that those who are interested in helping provide a happy holiday can help out. We’ll also have options available for people to donate cash or gift cards so that we can try to make sure that every family that applies gets at least some assistance.

Since this is our first year doing this, we have no idea how it will go, or how many donations we will have. But we know that the community has been generous in the past, and likely will be this year and in the future as well.

To apply, please fill out this form. We’ll follow up with you to make sure we’ve got everything covered.

Updates – We’re Official!

First, let’s start off with the excitement of the week: We’re officially a 501(c)3 organization, all official and everything. So, that opens up many opportunities for us. There are some things to follow up on, paperwork wise, for us to have access to things like facebook fundraising, but other funding options will be available as soon as I open a bank account. Library book donations and other donations are now tax deductible, and in most cases, we should be able to sign off on volunteer hours for any school or other program.

The Pagan Parenting apps are still in progress. Trying to make enough changes to them to get them through Apple’s process, and wanting to only do it one more time.

Spiral Moon TV is on a brief pause, as the solution we thought we had won’t work. We’re working on yet another solution, but it’s back to writing code and setting up a server to host videos. Hoping to make progress on this by the end of the year.

We’ve also launched Semaphore News, a SE Michigan centered Pagan news outlet. Submit stories or press releases, and get your daily info about happenings in our area.

The Education Center is up and running. We have a few more classes to shift over, and then it’ll be on to new class offerings. Our parochial school, Spiral Moon Academy, is not opening this school year, but we’re hoping to get the doors open for next fall.

Blasphemy is Illegal?

Do you know what blasphemy is? I thought I did…but then I heard that it was illegal in Michigan. I think I knew that, actually, based on a case that made national news a few years back over someone cursing while on a canoe trip.

So, I decided to go look it up.

Blasphemy

noun, plural blas·phe·mies.

1. impious utterance or action concerning God or sacred things.

2. Judaism.

a. an act of cursing or reviling God.

b. pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton (YHVH) in the original, now forbidden manner instead of using a substitute pronunciation such as Adonai.

3. Theology. the crime of assuming to oneself the rights or qualities of God.

4. irreverent behavior toward anything held sacred, priceless, etc.: He uttered blasphemies against life itself.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/blasphemy

Now, that seems interesting, because while it references Judaism specifically, the rest of this is pretty generic in terms of what religions are referenced.

So what does the law say?

THE MICHIGAN PENAL CODE (EXCERPT)
Act 328 of 1931
750.102 Blasphemy; punishment.
Sec. 102.
Punishment—Any person who shall wilfully blaspheme the holy name of God, by cursing or contumeliously reproaching God, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
History: 1931, Act 328, Eff. Sept. 18, 1931 ;– CL 1948, 750.102
Former Law: See section 17 of Ch. 158 of R.S. 1846, being CL 1857, § 5872; CL 1871, § 7707; How., § 9293; CL 1897, § 11706; CL 1915, § 15480; and CL 1929, § 16832.

Somewhat relatedly, the next section is the law I was remembering about the canoe:

THE MICHIGAN PENAL CODE (EXCERPT)
Act 328 of 1931
750.103 Cursing and swearing
Sec. 103.
Cursing and swearing—Any person who has arrived at the age of discretion, who shall profanely curse or damn or swear by the name of God, Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. No such prosecution shall be sustained unless it shall be commenced within 5 days after the commission of such offense.
History: 1931, Act 328, Eff. Sept. 18, 1931 ;– CL 1948, 750.103
Former Law: See section 18 of Ch. 158 of R.S. 1846, being CL 1857, § 5873; CL 1871, § 7708; How., § 9294; CL 1897, § 11707; CL 1915, § 15481; and CL 1929, § 16833.

So…that’s all really specific to Christians. And that feels pretty discriminatory. We can’t use their deity’s name as a curse word, and even joking about their deity or practices is suspect.

While many people will point out that this law isn’t actively enforced, the problem with laws like this is that they can be easily added on to other charges for those who are suspected of any other crime. Get arrested for something and cuss out the cops? Now you’ve got an additional charge.

The US government has complained about other countries having laws like this, but of course, they’re still on the books in numerous US states.

What can we do about laws like this? The first thing, as always, is to contact your state representatives in both the house and the senate, along with the governor.

Contact your senators.

Contact your representatives.

Contact the governor.

Tell them that you find these laws to be discriminatory against non-Christians, and that as a voting constituent you think they should have these laws repealed. In most cases, you can do that right from the find-your-elected-official links above, without outing yourself as Pagan if you choose not to.

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